A new survey suggests 80 percent of patients with schizophrenia say their psychiatrists do well or very well in treating them with courtesy and respect.

This positive relationship is particularly important in treating schizophrenia as patients and psychiatrists must work closely together to determine appropriate treatment plans that will help patients manage their symptoms and reduce their risk of relapse.

Schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the U.S. adult population and approximately 24 million people globally. Schizophrenia can have devastating effects throughout a person’s life.

The survey revealed that 66 percent of patients with schizophrenia have extreme trust or very much trust in their psychiatrists. Additional survey findings include:

  • 78 percent of patients with schizophrenia say their psychiatrists provide explanations in a way they can easily understand.
  • 66 percent of patients feel their psychiatrists are concerned for their emotional needs.
  • Additionally, more than half of patients and caregivers, or 54 percent, are very comfortable discussing medication options with psychiatrists.

Schizophrenia is a lifelong disease with no cure, so it is imperative that patients and caregivers are informed about the medication options available and are active participants with their psychiatrist in determining the right treatment options for them or their loved one.

“We are encouraged by these survey results as they indicate positive signs for the critically important relationship between psychiatrists, their patients and caregivers,” said Larry Alphs, M.D., therapeutic area leader/psychiatry, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, L.L.C.

Dr. Alphs also is a consulting psychiatrist. “In order to successfully treat and manage schizophrenia there needs to be a collaborative and supportive team approach among patients, caregivers and psychiatrists.”

Bill MacPhee, 47, knows firsthand the importance of having a good relationship with a psychiatrist and working closely with him or her to determine the appropriate treatment approach. MacPhee was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 24 and worked with his physician, with the support of his family, for more than five years to find the proper medication to stabilize his symptoms.

After getting his symptoms under control, MacPhee went on to launch SZ Magazine, a quarterly magazine designed to bring hope and information to people living with schizophrenia.

“My relationship with my psychiatrist has been, and continues to be, extremely important in my treatment and recovery,” said MacPhee.

“Without the help of proper medication, therapy and the support of my psychiatrist, friends and family I would not be where I am today.”

Source: Janssen